he author is a career Foreign Service Officer who has served in Tel Aviv, Baghdad and Washington. The views expressed here are his own and not necessarily those of the State Department or the U.S. government.
First of all, my hat is off to any American who goes to Baghdad to work for their country, whether it is in a military uniform or a diplomat’s suit. But having said that…
“We are not a drain on the national economy; rather, we are a primary reason why the United States remains as great as it is.”
Government employees pay taxes, but all of the taxes that they pay on their salary come from the government itself. In short, all money that is spent by the public sector is originally taken from the private sector. Government cannot create wealth. It can only take from others and distribute it. Sometimes that distribution is spent on very good things, i.e., the salaries and equipment of the Navy Seals who killed bin Laden. And sometimes it gets spent on Solyndra and Fast and Furious gun-smuggling operations and $489,000 to renovate a yacht in Los Angeles. Too much government spending is a drain on the national economy, and government spending surged from 35 percent of GDP in 2007 to 42 percent since 2010.